regular-article-logo Wednesday, 27 September 2023

Delhi Police add charges of criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence against Mohammed Zubair

Delhi Police has also sought 14 days of judicial custody for the Alt News co-founder

Our Web Desk Published 02.07.22, 10:55 AM
Mohammed Zubair

Mohammed Zubair File picture

In case against Mohammed Zubair, Delhi Police adds charges of criminal conspiracy, destruction of evidence, reports NDTV.

Delhi Police on Saturday produced Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair before a court here in a case related to an objectionable tweet he had posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity and sought his 14-day judicial custody.


Zubair was produced before the court on expiry of his five-day custodial interrogation. The police told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria that he was not required anymore for custodial interrogation.

After the police application, Zubair moved a bail plea before the court.

On Friday, Delhi High Court adjourned till July 27 the hearing of AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair’s plea challenging his four-day police remand, which ends on July 2.

Zubair’s counsel Vrinda Grover contended in court that the appearance of the country’s second-highest law officer, solicitor-general Tushar Mehta, in the case to defend the police highlighted the government’s interest and “tells the whole story”.

Zubair, relentless in exposing the Right wing’s fake narratives, was arrested weeks after calling out now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s derogatory comments against Prophet Mohammed.

He was arrested on Monday on the charges of hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity through a 2018 tweet, which showed a still image from a 1983 Hindi film that had been screened without controversy. He was first sent to a day’s police custody by a magistrate and then, on Tuesday, handed four days’ police remand.

  • Grover told the single-judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula that several social media users had shared the image Zubair had tweeted but her client alone had been “targeted”, thanks to his profession and religion.
  • Grover accused the police of breaching the apex court’s Arnesh Kumar judgment of 2014, which said that accused should not be arrested in cases involving less than seven years’ jail. The charges invoked against Zubair, if proved, attract a maximum punishment of two years.
  • Grover said that despite the production of a police complaint filed for the loss of Zubair’s old mobile phone from which he had posted the 2018 tweet, the police had seized his present mobile phone.

“This remand order is not only mechanical but there is also non-application of mind. It violates my rights. It is a plunging dagger in my right to privacy. I (Zubair) am a journalist and my laptop is in their custody,” Grover said.

She urged the court to issue a notice on the petition to “decide the legality” of the remand and make the search and seizure subject to the outcome of the case. “If courts don’t stop this, nobody is going to be safe in this country,” she said.

While seeking Zubair’s demand, the Delhi police had told the lower court they needed to take him to his Bangalore home for the recovery of his laptop. The police did take Zubair to his Bangalore flat on Thursday.

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